Sawbills:

 

                                          Hooded Mergansers 

 

 

 

Smew are native to Europe and Asia. Smew are very similar to Hooded Mergansers and should not be housed together as they will hybridize. In the wild Smew feed mostly on small invertebrates and small fish thus they will need a higher protien diet than most ducks. We have experienced that the drakes can get a little aggresive to pen mates during breeding season. The young, well not as bad as Hoodies, can be reluctant to eat so we start these with meal worms as well. Smew are cavity nesters and need elevated boxes. They lay a clutch of 6-8 eggs and incubate them for about 28 days. Smew do not breed or achieve adult plumage until they are two years old. 

 

 

 

                                        Common Mergansers

 

 

Sea Ducks: 

 

                                             Barrows Goldeneye

 

                                                                                                                                

Common Goldeneyes are wide spread over the Northern Hemisphere. Although slightly smaller than the Barrows Goldeneye they can be just as territorial in a mixed collection. When keeping them in a mixed collection care should be taken in picking pen mates. We keep these the same as the Barrows with one pair in a pen mixed with other species, but with multiple ponds so they can have a pond to themselves without disturbing their pen mates. They to feed on molluscs and insect larvae and should have a higher protein diet. Common Goldeneyes are cavity nesters and require elevated nest boxes. They lay a clutch of 6-8 eggs which are incubated for about 30 days. They do not achieve adult plumage or breed until the second year.                                          

 

 

 

 

 

                                                      Bufflehead

 

 

 

Common Eiders inhabit the coastal waters of the Northern Hemisphere. A true sea duck they spend much of their time on the water. They are a very large duck and do best in large avairies. They do well in mixed collections and are not overly agressive, but their size alone can intimidate smaller species.Eiders feed on molluscs and crustaceans and should be fed a higher protein diet. We feed a duck pellet supplimented with Mazzuri Sea Duck Diet.  Eiders are ground nesters and prefer natural cover such as long grass or even under a bush. They lay a clutch of 5-7 eggs which are incubated for about 28 days. Eiders do not gain their adult plumage until they are two and not breed until two or three years old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hooded Mergansers are native to North America. Hoodeds do well in mixed collections. They are a very agile duck and have excellent perching abilities. They eat fish ,crawfish, and frogs in the wild thus should be kept on a higher protein diet than other ducks. We feed ours a duck pellet that is supplemented with Mazzuri Sea Duck diet.This is fed once a day on the water. Hoodies are cavity nesters and use an elevated nest box. They lay a clutch of 8-10 eggs which are incubated for about 30 days. The young can be stubborn to eat at first, we drop meal worms dipped in water on crumbles thus getting them used to the crumbles. Hoodies do not acquire adult plumage or breed until their second year.        

 

 

 

                                                          Smew 

 

Common Mergansers are native to most of the Northern Hemisphere. Common Mergansers are a fairly large duck more than twice the size of Hoodies or Smew so care should be taken when adding them to mixed collection. They are a very active and playful duck and given their size they can intimidate smaller pen mates. The only agressive behavior we have experienced is when they are established in a pen they can be agressive to any new birds introduced in the pen. They are fish eaters and should be fed a higher protien diet we feed a duck pellet supplimented with Mazzuri Sea Duck. They are a cavity nester and need an elevated nest box with a large hole aproximatly 4 1/2 inches. They do not gain adult plumage or breed until their second year.

 

 

 

 

 

 Barrows Goldeneyes are native to North America and Iceland. Barrows in the wild feed mainly on molluscs, insects, and crustaceans so their diet should be higher in protein. Care should be taken when keeping these birds in a mixed collection although very tolerant of other species most of the year, during breeding season they can take over an entire pond. We have found keeping one pair in an aviary which contains several ponds works well as the Barrows will take over one pond leaving the other ponds for the other species. Barrows are cavity nesters so raised boxes should be placed near the pond. They lay a clutch of 7-9 eggs which are incubated for about 29 days. They do not breed or obtain adult plumage until they reach two.                

 

 

 

                                          American Goldeneye 

 

 

 

 Buffleheads are native to North America. Buffleheads are a petite, busy little duck, preening and diving with unique courtship displays. Although being such a small duck, they can be very agressive during breeding season often taking on birds triple their size with such vigor the larger birds are almost always run off. If kept in mixed collections a very a large pond or several small ponds are a must. Feeding on mainly crustaceans and molluscs they require a higher protein diet than most ducks. Buffleheads are cavity nesters and require a raised nest box. We have found they prefer a small 3" diameter hole. They lay a clutch of 6-8 eggs which are incubated for about 30 days. They do not achieve adult plumage or breed until their second year.

 

 

 

                                                 Common Eider

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